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Yu Lab

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Led by principal investigator Jia-Ray Yu, Ph.D., the Yu Laboratory studies the regulations of gene expression at the chromatin level.  As chromatin is a highly compartmentalized structure, the temporo-spatial regulations of the chromatin-associated factors are crucial for their collective functions in shaping the epigenome. These natural principles are, however, often dysregulated in human diseases such as congenital developmental syndromes and a variety types of cancer.

The lab probes these questions by integrating comprehensive research tools in chromatin biochemistry, reconstituted systems, deep-sequencing, molecular and cell biology, and cancer biology. The current focuses in lab include the following directions: 1) functional regulation of chromatin modifying enzymes by novel protein-RNA and protein-protein interactions; 2) how disruption of balancing between heterochromatin and euchromatin contributes to early oncogenesis in pediatric brain cancers; and  3) non-histone targets of histone-modifying enzymes.

Meet the Lab


Chen-I received his M.S. from National Cheng-Kung University, where he studied disease mechanisms of polycystic ovary syndrome. As a Ph.D. student, he is interested in understanding how euchromatin is established in the context of development and cancer.

Hung-Ju obtained his M.S. from National Yang-Ming University, where he studied immunology. As a research associate, he assists with lab businesses and conducts synthetic lethality screens in brain cancers. 

Sarah received her Ph.D. in chemical biology from the University of California, Irvine in 2024. During her doctoral research, Sarah studied the role of beta-hairpins in amyloid-beta oligomerization and toxicity using peptide model systems and human iPSC-derived neurons. As a postdoctoral fellow, Sarah is investigating mechanisms of chromatin imbalance and their role in neurodevelopmental disorders.

Tahaa obtained his M.S. in biology from Lahore University of Management Sciences, where he used biochemical tools to study plant immunity proteins. Currently, as a Ph.D. student, he is focused on investigating the role of epigenetic mechanisms in driving brain cancers.



  • Wei Li, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Principal Investigator, Center for Genetic Medicine Research, Children's National Research and Innovation